Hi - I just started home brewing, and I chose this as my first recipe, since Chimay Blue is among my favorites. Had I read a little further, I might have picked a recipe with a little shorter turnaround time - 6 months bottle aging? yikes. Maybe I'll try it at 2 or 3.
I just put this recipe in the fermenter, with only 2 substitutions:
1. - yeast was substituted, Wyeast 3787 Trappist instead of White Labs WPL 500 Belgian Trappist. I saw some other Wyeast strains suggested here, hope I haven't made a grave error. I wonder how the 3787 compares to the 1214.
2. Styrian Goldings hops were subbed with our local brew shops 'Traditional' German hops. It's what they recommended for a sub, anyway.
The Lyle's Golden Syrup was actually a bit of a pain to find - I'm in the Columbus, OH area, and the only place that carried it was World Market. Couldn't you sub a LME? I had also read you could do 1 part molasses to 2 parts Karo syrup in *cooking*, but wasn't sure about how that would work for brewing, so I pursued the real deal.
I also had a mishap where the rubber stopper/seal on my 7 gal pail lid where the airlock plugs in dropped down in my wort when I went to put the airlock in. You'd think the rubber would float, but nooooo.....had to resanitize and strain it, pour it all out, and back in after the yeast was pitched. I sanitized well and use decent aseptic technique (I'm a nurse), but these things always make me nervous. Hop I didn't just drop $60+ worth of ingredients into a bad batch.
Also, if my calculations are right (and they probably aren't), looking at the difference in the OG and FG it only looks like about a 6% recipe - shouldn't a Chimay Blue clone be more in the 9-10% range? Add more ME next go, or?